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Testing assumptions of otolith radiometric aging with two long-lived fishes from the northern Gulf of Mexico

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Abstract:

In this study, we evaluate the assumptions for estimating ages with radiometric and elemental analyses of otoliths of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) and red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. In whole otoliths of both red snapper and red drum, 226Ra activity was inversely correlated with the otolith mass increase with age, validating the assumption that 226Ra accumulation in otoliths occurs at a rate proportional to that of Ca. 222Rn emanation from otoliths decreased as otolith mass increased. 222Rn loss occurred in all red snapper otolith samples (4.1%) and, to a lesser extent, in red drum otolith samples (0.6%) and decreased with increasing size (age) of the otolith. For red drum, the assumption that the initial activity ratio of 210Po to 226Ra in otoliths is essentially zero was indirectly validated with elemental analyses of Pb and Ba. Radiometric age estimation of shallow-water fishes from the northern Gulf of Mexico holds great promise, considering that 226Ra activities observed in this study are some of the highest recorded to date for species to which the 210Pb/226Ra dating technique has been applied.

On trouvera ici une évaluation des présuppositions de la méthode d'estimation de l'âge par radiométrie et analyse des éléments dans les otolithes du Vivaneau rouge, Lutjanus campechanus, et du Tambour rouge, Sciaenops ocellatus, du nord du golfe du Mexique. Dans les otolithes entiers des deux espèces, l'activité du 226Ra est en corrélation inverse avec croissance de la masse de l'otolithe avec l'âge, ce qui valide la présupposition qui veut que le taux d'accumulation du 226Ra soit proportionnel à celui du calcium. L'émanation du radon-222 décroît avec l'augmentation de la masse de l'otolithe. Il y a une perte de radon-222 dans tous les échantillons d'otolithes de Vivaneaux rouges (4,1%) et, à un degré moindre, dans ceux des Tambours rouges (0,6%); la perte diminue cependant avec l'augmentation de taille (âge) de l'otolithe. Chez le Tambour rouge, la présupposition que l'activité initiale du rapport 210Po/226Ra est essentiellement nulle se vérifie indirectement par les analyses de Pb et de Ba. L'estimation de l'âge par radiométrie chez les poissons d'eau peu profonde du nord du golfe du Mexique semble être une méthode très prometteuse; en effet, les niveaux d'activité du 226Ra observés ici sont parmi les plus élevés obtenus chez des espèces soumises à la technique d'estimation de l'âge au moyen du rapport 210Po/226Ra.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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